‘Cause I’m a scientist, that’s why.

Welcome Scientists!

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science in America
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MqTOEospfo]

  • Scientific Literacy Youtube List
    • (Warning, comments and examples in some videos are crass/vulgar)
  • Pseudoscience (And how to spot it)
  • Armstrong Research Tutorial
  • Scientific nomenclature: Writing conventions
    • The scientific name = Genus species 
      (Capitalized genus, lowercase species, always italicized)
    • Any higher taxon = Order
      (Always capitalized, never italicized)
    • Example: The species Palaemonetes pugio is in the class Malacostraca and the phylum Arthropoda.
  • The Scientific Method: In the real world
  • Hypotheses, Theories, etc. When new evidence is found that refutes an existing hypothesis or theory, it is the idea that is updated, not the facts. It is counterproductive to ignore evidence because it does not fit your favored theory, and doing so is 100% illogical and non-scientific.
    • Observation = description of what is seen in the world
    • Hypothesis = clear, specific statement explaining a potential cause of an observation
      • Each must be testable & falsifiable
      • There are many competing and non-competing hypotheses to explain any particular observation
      • Collecting evidence that fails to support (eliminates) one hypothesis does not inherently indicate that any of the others are supported
      • H0, The null hypothesis = 2 options
        • 1: states the expectation that the normal situation will not change
        • 2: states the expectation that there will be no difference between the experimental groups and/or the control groups
      • HA, An alternative hypothesis = each one states an expectation that a particular explanation is the cause of the observation
    • Prediction = includes both the method of testing the hypothesis, and an expected result
      • Often written as “If…then…” statements
      • Several predictions can result from 1 hypothesis
      • Experiments are generally designed to generate data that will assist with evaluating these predictions
    • Theory = well-supported model for how a system functions
      • Many hypotheses have been tested and much evidence has been gathered about the topic and it is a solid, acceptable explanation of all of the related observations
      • There can be multiple valid, well-supported theories at one time
      • Nothing can be considered a theory without empirical evidence in support of it
      • Some theories remain for decades or centuries without being elevated to laws and without being refuted
      • Some theories cannot ever be elevated to laws because their scope is too narrow and they are unlikely to be universally applicable
    • Law = strongest, most reliable, universal model for how a system functions
      • Very few concepts are ever elevated to the status of a scientific law
      • It is insufficient to simply demonstrate that a theory is an accurate model for 1 particular system, such as on Earth, as laws represent our broadest understanding of reality
      • Laws are rarely eliminated entirely, although they are often subtly adjusted and expanded along with our own understanding of the system
  • More Growing Soon!

Students’ Feedback

Need to report a broken link or ask a question? Have a suggestion for information to be featured here?


featured image: Ever wondered what the inside of a thermocyler looks like?